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Press Release

Rockwood Resident Pleads Guilty to Tax Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Rockwood, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of tax evasion and filing a false income tax return, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Jason R. Svonavec, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Svonavec evaded tax liability in 2017 by illegally expensing the construction of his home in Somerset, Pennsylvania, through entities he operates called Heritage Coal and Natural Resources LLC and Banshee Crane. In 2018, he filed a tax return reporting false tax deductions for Heritage Coal and Natural Resources LLC.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for June 26, 2024, in Johnstown, PA. The law provides for a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Svonavec.

Updated January 18, 2024

Financial Fraud